Journalism Ethics by Court Decree: The Supreme Court on the Proper Practice of Journalism

Journalism Ethics by Court Decree: The Supreme Court on the Proper Practice of Journalism
John C. Watson
April 2008

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-266-3 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / viii, 264 pages

Price   $70.00

"In this blending of the concepts of pragmatic instrumentalism, equity law, and ethics that marks this books real contribution...intruguing and well worth considering." -- Journal of Mass Media Ethics

Description

Watson concludes that journalism practice is guided and defined by law and ethics. Journalists are most likely to follow an ethical principle when it is supported by the law and less likely if it is opposed or not supported by the law. The law at issue is virtually always the First Amendment. Because the Supreme Court has the final say on First Amendment issues, the Court has a powerful influence on the applied ethics of journalism. Watson analyzes Court rulings since 1947 that address journalism’s primary ethical principles. He considers the implications of having jurists set the course of proper journalism practice, especially when unfettered journalism ethics require journalists to violate the law.

About the Author

John C. Watson has 21 years of experience as a daily newspaper reporter and city editor in the New York City market. He has a law degree from Rutgers and was trained in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A recipient of a Freedom Forum Ph.D. fellowship, he now teaches journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.